(Romans 8:28) "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

The above verse, more often than not, is used in trying to bring order out of chaos, good out of evil, or blessings out of tragedy. Recently two teenagers in our town died in a car wreck. In commenting on this tragedy one lady said, "Well, some good came out of it. We got a traffic light where it was needed." Two teenagers traded for one traffic light! But they had to get some good out of this tragedy and this verse is used to sustain such.

To be sure, there are occasions when tragedy results in some good being accomplished, but I do not believe that Paul was discussing something so out of context in the verse we have mentioned.

The word "all" is not an all inclusive word. It may be used as an hyperbole, or as an adjective, or as a pronoun, but it must always be understood by the setting in which it is used. In the verse under consideration, it is a continuation of the discussion concerning God's working with his children to bring them to final salvation. So Paul discusses the warfare taking place between the flesh and the spirit and how God's spirit working through the word brings man to final glorification. God's eternal purpose was to bring about the salvation of mankind and he provided the means by which this would be accomplished.

So the final conclusion is that all these good things, not catastrophic, tragic events, were working together to bring about God's eternal purpose, the salvation of souls. That's what this entire context, both before and after our verse, is discussing.

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